2020 is over. It’s not a stretch to say the year was, for many of us, harder than most.
Fortunately, 2021 is here and the New Year is always exciting – a new year full of new opportunities.
With a new year comes New Year’s resolutions, which honestly, most people break after a month or so. Sometimes less.
This is why setting realistic New Year’s resolutions is important, especially for those with a chronic illness. New habits and resolutions come with time and practice, and definitely don’t come overnight.
Creating resolutions that are extremely challenging and daunting makes us less likely to keep them, which is why creating simple, realistic New Year’s resolutions sometimes works better and causes less stress.
PSI has created a list of resolutions for those living with a chronic illness and/or chronic pain that aim to make your life happier and healthier.
Everyone’s chronic condition looks different, so only challenge yourself to the resolutions that are realistic for you.
Practice Self Love and Self Care
After a tough year for most, this one is crucial going into 2021.
When living with a chronic illness, life often looks different in terms of what you can and can’t do.
Don’t be hard on yourself for not being able to accomplish everything on your to-do list. Don’t beat yourself up for listening to your body and resting when you need to.
While it can be hard, practicing self-love and care is so important. Treat yourself and take care of yourself in 2021 based on what your body is telling you.
Make Your Medical Checkups and Appointments a Priority
This year, make your health a priority. Whether you’re going in for a checkup or a specific appointment related to your chronic condition, put your health first.
While this may look different in the time of COVID-19, virtual health appointments are a viable alternative in making sure you’re looking after your health. Stay committed to keeping your appointments this year.
Get More Sleep
Sleep affects almost all parts of our lives, so getting enough sleep should be a priority this year.
The amount of sleep you need depends on your age, so check out Healthline’s sleep calculator to check out how much sleep you need. In general, if you’re over 18, you need anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
Also, lack of sleep can lead to conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more.
While this can be challenging if you live with chronic pain, set goals for yourself to get the realistic amount of sleep for you. Consider talking with your physician when setting your sleep goals.
Try Complementary Medicine/Treatment
Complementary medicine is treatment that should take place in addition to your normal prescriptions, not in place of them.
This doesn’t necessarily mean taking more medication. Some examples of complementary medicine include yoga, meditation, listening/playing music, painting, writing, journaling, etc.
These treatments aim to help with happiness, quality of life, and ease stress.
It’s important to remember that everyone is different, so make sure you consult your doctor before trying complementary medicine. Different treatments work for different people, so feel free to try a combination of any of them.
Practice Honesty with Struggles
It’s so difficult for someone without a chronic disease to understand what living with a chronic illness is like. They don’t know what it’s like to be in pain all day.
This year, practice being honest without fear of judgment when it comes to your struggles. If you don’t voice your struggles, how would anyone know what you’re going through?
In a time of social media, many of us feel pressured to make our lives look “picture perfect,” when in reality, it isn’t like that for anyone. If you share your struggles, you can empower others living with chronic illness and let them know they’re not alone.
Practice honesty this year. Those who are truly there for you won’t judge you for what you’re going through, and those who do usually aren’t people you want to stick around.
Leave 2020 Behind and Set Realistic New Year’s Resolutions For Yourself
Keep looking forward this year. 2021 is here, so don’t sit on what you could’ve done last year.
No one knows you better than yourself, so set simple, realistic New Year’s resolutions around you. This year brings new opportunities, so take advantage of that and make this year yours.
We wish you all a happy, safe New Year full of happiness and health.